China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile carrier with over 740 million subscribers. It has long been rumored that the carrier will officially start selling the iPhone soon. It hasn’t carried the iPhone as yet, despite that fact that its competitors, China Unicom and China Telecom have both been offering the smartphone for quite some time now. Latest stats from Sinatech claim that there are 42 million unofficial iPhones already on China Mobile’s network. If it officially launches the iPhones, the move might become quite beneficial for both the carrier and Apple.

Given that China Mobile uses a unique TD-SCDMA network standard, those unofficial iPhone owners can only use their devices in 2G model with a painstakingly slow mobile data connection. The carrier is in the process of rolling out its TD-LTE network, a standard that the new iPhones support. It is now widely believed that both iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will be launched on China Mobile in November, when the carrier is expected to light up its TD-LTE network. Apple’s smartphones have already received a network access license for China Mobile from the country’s regulatory authority. China Mobile said earlier this year that its keen on selling the iPhone, and seeing as how 42 million subscribers chose to purchase an iPhone off-contract and then use it on China Mobile, it is widely believed that the launch just might increase the iPhone’s market share in China by quite a margin.

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